“EVEN WITH A SMALL HEELED SHOE”

Four Female Acrobats (1934 / via Rachele Ceccarelli) perform in full costume for Robert Douglas Lockhart, a Professor of Anatomy from the University of Birmingham, and A.C. Fowler, a radiographer from the University of Aberdeen.  The female body appears in live motion, slow motion, and skeletal/radiographic stills.  Linda Williams’ reading of science and bodily spectacle (“pornographic answers proceed from academic questions”) seems like a critical starting point in understanding the confusion of visual/disciplinary registers, the fetish objects that accompany these bodies, and the shift from fleshy (flashy) surfaces to bony interiors.  It is likewise worth noting that these images arrive forty years after Muybridge: Williams’ own starting point in her study of machines of the visible and visual frenzies.

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